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Poll shows how people feel about dam removal

May 26, 2009, Letter to Editor Herald and News by Tom Mallams, Klamath County
    It seems now would be the appropriate time to acknowledge our elected state legislators, Sen. Doug Whitsett, Rep. Bill Garrard and Rep. George Gillman with a huge Thumb’s Up for the timely poll released recently.

    Whether an individual is for or against the controversial issues addressed in the poll, it is good to have a reference as to the feelings of all of Klamath  County’s registered voters.

    Some have already criticized the wording of the questions. The question topics were assigned to the pollster, and they did the wording. Had there been “editing” of the questions, those same critics would still be complaining. The fact is some just do not like the results. And they say we throw rocks.

    The first and main question, “Do you favor or oppose removing the four Pacific Corp-owned hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River?” seems to be expressed in as plain and simple straight forward language as one could ask for.

    The simple fact is very obvious. The local community is against what is going on. The headlines announcing the results of this poll should have read, “Only 11 percent of Klamath County registered voters favor dam removal.” These three elected officials seem to be representing their constituents as they were elected to do so.

    I commend them for their ability to expose the true feelings within our community.

    The question now is, how will our other elected officials including our county commissioners, our governor and our elected representatives in the U. S. Senate and House of Representatives, respond?” 

    The assurances have been expressed by most of them that they would not offer support for this process without a very broad community support in the Klamath Basin. That broad support is obviously not there. So we wait patiently for their response.

Tom Mallams, Klamath County



Republicans’ stand on KBRA disappointing

June 3, 2009 Herald and News Letter to the Editor  by Belinda Stewart, Klamath Water Users Association Outreach and Project Coordinator

In the decade I have had the privilege to cast a vote and have an official party affiliation I have chosen to support the Republican Party.

Because of recent actions by Klamath County Rep. Bill Garrard, state Sen. Doug Whitsett and the Klamath County Republican Central Committee, I find myself rethinking my party affiliation.

I feel shame in light of Garrard’s testimony in front of the House Committee on Environment and Water, which contained grievous errors about the impacts of Senate Bill 76 and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.

Following Garrard’s testimony, there was a phone poll conducted in Klamath County.

Under the guise of seeking public input on the restoration agreement, residents were asked five very biased questions. Garrard and Whitsett paid for this survey to be conducted, and I would submit they did so in order to gain statistics supporting their own opposition to the agreement.

The questions asked were clearly leading, and only served the purpose of creating opposition to the agreement. To say this is disappointing behavior of elected officials is an understatement.

Following, the Klamath County Republican Central Committee issued a resolution opposing major elements of the proposed restoration agreement. I assume it exists for the purpose of helping Republican candidates be elected to office, not to take positions on local initiatives, drawing lines in the sand which prove to divide the Republican Party rather than strengthen it.

This is not a Republican/Democrat issue; this is an issue of supporting a watershed-wide resolution to long-standing water issues.

I write in utter frustration, looking for a reason to believe in the Republican Party again. I am disillusioned by this recent behavior, and as I write this, I am considering becoming an Independent.


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